We’ve all been there. After a hard day, you may reach for a high-calorie salty or sweet snack because it can be a source of momentary comfort. Emotional eating, however, can cause you mental and physical discomfort if you don’t keep it at bay. Consider these practical tips to help you regain control of your eating habits:
1. Find healthy coping mechanisms. Sometimes when we want to eat, we actually need to quiet our minds. Yoga, meditation and journaling may help in that way.
2. Keep a food diary. Log what you eat, how much, time of day, how you’re feeling when you eat and your hunger levels. Over time, you may be able to see links or patterns that you can better predict. For instance, many women have cravings for sweets a few days before their cycle starts.
3. Control what you can. Don’t keep addicting junk food at home if you find it’s difficult to resist. And if you are feeling emotional, consider putting off the grocery store trip until you’re re-centered.
4. Enjoy food. If weight loss is your goal, you may limit your calories too much and eschew the treats you used to enjoy. This may backfire and increase your food cravings, especially when you add emotions to the mix. The compromise? Let yourself go off-program from time to time so you’re not completely depriving yourself.
5. Make smart choices. If you need to snack between meals, opt for fresh fruit and veggies and lean protein to hold you over until dinnertime.
6. Learn to let go. Slip-ups will happen. You’re only human, after all. If you do give in to a craving, forgive yourself and move on. Know that tomorrow is a new day. Take stock of the situation and try to learn from the mistake so you don’t repeat it again. Also, focus on the positive — that you’re showing up for yourself and your health even when the going gets tough.
It should be mentioned that if you’ve exhausted all of these options but still can’t get control of your emotional eating, you might benefit from seeing a mental health provider. That’s because therapy can help you understand the triggers behind your emotional eating and help you better adapt in the moment. A professional opinion can also help you discover whether you may have an eating disorder and help you take the necessary actions to recover.
Finally, consider what key nutrients your body needs. Nature’s Sunshine carries an extensive line of supplements that can help ensure your body is getting all of the nutrients it needs to function at its best. If you have questions and want to explore what products may be best for you, give us a call: (800) 728-2425 or visit our Healthy Habits Program.